The Sails of Kvarner – catalogue translation

Jedra Kvarnera (The Sails of Kvarner) is a permanent exhibition at The Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka (PPMHP).
The exhibition presents an historical overview of the development of the shipping industry and shipbuilding in the region of the Northern Adriatic in the period from Late Antiquity, through the Mediaeval development of the shipping industry of the Eastern Adriatic and the Modern Age, to the beginning of the 20th century.

jedra kvarnera sails of kvarnerI provided the English translation of the accompanying catalogue which features a snapshot of the exhibits on show and a description of the sections of the exhibition such as the types of vessels, navigational and ship equipment, paintings of ships, anchors and the history of the shipping industry in the Northern Adriatic, Kvarner and Rijeka areas.

You can find more info at the museum’s website: PPMHP


Kisha – the umbrella you’ll never lose

I’m very proud to have been involved in the world’s first Bluetooth technology umbrella, developed in Rijeka.

The hi-tech, top-quality umbrella has an in-built chip which uses Bluetooth technology to connect to an app on your smart phone. In this way it will alert you if you walk away or forget your umbrella wherever you are. Plus it also gives you the weather forecast so you’ll know whether to take your Kisha umbrella with you when you go out.

kisha_app It has been developed by a team in Rijeka and I helped them with the English language of their app, website and supplied the voice-over for their promo youtube video above. :)

Psst! If you were wondering why they chose the name “Kisha” – in Croatian the word (spelt “kiša” and pronounced “kisha”) actually means “rain”. 😉

kisha_openAll the info, how to order an umbrella and download the app is on their website here

Kisha umbrella survives the Adriatic’s infamous “bura” wind in Rijeka harbour:

Kisha umbrella test in Poland:


Petar Grabovac – Rijeka – monography

petar grabovac rijekaPetar Grabovac-Ćućo is a legendary photo-journalist who worked in the industry from 1948 until his retirement in 1990. He worked for Rijeka’s ‘Novi List’ newspaper for 40 years and photographed every major event that happened in the city. He captured the visits of international statesmen such as Che Guevara, Nasser, Nehru, Khrushchev, Brezhnev as well as Yugoslavia’s President Tito.
Grabovac’s work has been published all over the world and he has been awarded numerous international prizes. His eye for detail and quality of his work is presented in this monography which features his studies of the city of Rijeka, which has changed over those four decades, and it has brought memories flooding back for its inhabitants.

I provided the English translations of the summary and the author’s biography.
This 320 page hardback book simply titled ‘Rijeka’ can be ordered direct from the publisher Adamić d.o.o. here.
ISBN: 978-953-219-489-0

Primorsko-goranska županija iz zraka – monography

Primorsko-goranska županija iz zrakaThe monography Primorsko-goranska županija iz zraka (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County from the air) is a lushly illustrated book featuring aerial photography of PGŽ County. Some of the countries finest photographers have captured many parts of the region with beautiful shots from all seasons of the year. Towns, islands, beaches, forests, mountains all lavishly presented in this 320 page hardback volume.
I provided the English translations for the summary and photographers’ biographies. A full English language edition has yet to be published.

Primorsko-goranska županija iz zraka

Stunning aerial photography of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County

The photography is by Petar Fabijan, Nenad Reberšak, Damir Škomrlj and Silvano Ježina and the accompanying text is by Edi Jurković.
Published by Adamić d.o.o, 2014
Buy it online here or look for it in bookshops.
ISBN 978-953-7221-46-1

Interesting historical facts about Rijeka

Rijeka grbSome historical facts about the city of Rijeka
Did you know…?

– that in Rijeka in 1909 the first Croatian feature film was made.

– that the first television aerials in Croatia were placed on the roofs of houses in Rijeka.

– that the first kidney transplant in the ex-Yugoslavia was performed in Rijeka, in 1971.

– that in the Arctic there is a piece of land named after Rijeka (Cape Fiume).

– that Robert Ludvigovich Bartini born in Rijeka was an accomplished aircraft designer.

– that in Rijeka the trajectory of a gunshot was photographed for the first time in history.

– that the postmark ‘V’ Fiume from 1755, is the oldest surviving postmark in the Republic of Croatia.

– a life jacket from the Titanic is located in the local museum. It was collected by the RMS Carpathia (the ship that saved the Titanic’s survivors) on route from New York-Rijeka.

– that in Rijeka in 1786 the first midwifery school in Croatia was founded.

– that the ‘Husar’ disco club in Rijeka was the first in this part of Europe.

– that ‘Quorum Colours’ was the first and largest Croatian underground club.

– that the first Yugoslav rock band, ‘Uragani’ came from Rijeka.

– that the first punk group in Croatia ‘Paraf’ came from Rijeka.

– that Croatian Hip-Hop began in Rijeka.

– that in Rijeka the first speedway race was held in Italy and that the founder of Italian speedway was in fact from Rijeka.

– that the first psychiatric hospital in Yugoslavia was built in Rijeka.

– that the oldest lift in Croatia is in Rijeka.

– that the first vehicle marked “Made in Croatia” was built in Rijeka.

– that under Rijeka there is a cave which has been declared a natural geomorphologic monument.

– that Rijeka had its very own Schindler who helped hundreds of Jews.

– that in 1852 in Rijeka the first gas production plant began operation in South East Europe.

– that Rijeka’s rope factory is the oldest industrial plant in the city’s history.

– that the first sanatorium in Croatia was opened in the district of Pećine.

– that the first radio transmission in the ex-Yugoslavia was made in Rijeka, back in 1920. It was a speech by D’Annunzio.

– that the first Croatian steamship was built in Rijeka and with it a regular passenger route between Senj and Rijeka was established which is considered to be the start of passenger travel on the Croatian Adriatic.

– that the Croatian national anthem was written in Rijeka by Antun Mihanović.

– that French writer Henri Beyle Stendhal spent some time in Rijeka.

– that member of the American Senate and Mayor of New York Fiorello Henry La Guardia stayed in Rijeka as the US consul and played in the Rijeka football club Atletico Fiumano.

– that Rijeka’s Pero Radaković scored the only goal in the quarter-final match against Germany, during the Football World Cup in Chile in 1962, ensuring Yugoslavia’s 4th place, which was to be its best ever result.

– that Nikola Tesla had a sister who lived in Rijeka and that D’Annunzio’s legionnaires destroyed all her personal letters and other effects which should have been preserved for history.

– that Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp, the most decorated submarine captain of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, attended the Naval Academy in Rijeka. At the shipyard in Kantrida, where the submarines were launched, he met and fell in love with Agathe, the granddaughter of Robert Whitehead (inventor of the torpedo in Rijeka), and they married on 10th January 1911 in Rijeka. In the 1960s one of the best musical films of all time ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed about the von Trapp family.

– that in 1937 Gino and Oscar Jankovits from Rijeka designed, constructed and tested the first car in Croatia. It was the Alfa Romeo Aerospider. It was the first vehicle in the world with fitted door handles and lights in the chassis, the first with the steering wheel in the centre, the first with the engine placed centrally at the rear, the first with a horizontally placed radiator and it could reach a speed of 230 km/h.

– that in Rijeka on 9th June 1969 the first library bus in Yugoslavia began working. It visited the city’s surroundings which had no access to library facilities providing all the inhabitants with library services.

– that in 1984 the first cash machine, ATM, in Yugoslavia was installed in Rijeka by Riječka Banka.

Kamov – ‘Isušena kaljuža’ English extracts

Extracts from my work-in-progress translation of Janko Polić Kamov’s revolutionary, modernist novel ‘Isušena kaljuža‘ (working title ‘The Dried Up Mire‘).

These extracts are from the first part of the novel ‘Na dnu‘ (‘At the Bottom‘).

isusena-kaljuza-cover-insetThey set off on a walk. Across the square passed a funeral, a long cortège of men, women and some kind of craftsmen’s guild. The music slowly followed the sad and boring step, under the gloomy sky, on the unbearable Sunday, which had closed the shops, cleaned the marketplace, brought people out for a walk or made them yawn at the windows of their houses. It was after noon. There were people at the side, who were looking blankly at the procession. The colourful robes, both genders, young and old, all with the same looks, which were neither of sadness nor curiosity, but of a kind of long, protracted and half-dead look, that notices nothing, but sees everything. The tolling of bells rang out like somebody’s voices breaking up then returning, sinking and re-merging like a castaway at sea. Arsen stared at the coffin. Behind it there cried one young woman, throwing her head wildly into a handkerchief and twitching her shoulders as though wanting to shake off some burden. One gentleman was reconciling her, but she just shook her head all the more wildly and the sounds like a torn crack came crashing down onto the white coffin and the stinking corpse inside it. “She’s crying” and immediately Arsen wants a young woman to cry for him upon his death too, dressed in black, with red-hot cheeks, and that she throws her head into a handkerchief and touches her tears with her nose. He was moved. He was watching her listening to her sob, captivating, sweet and rich. “Yes, this kind of sobbing…Whilst I would be lying inside damp planks, on which the paint had not yet dried. In gold writing:Arsen Toplek – the people will read and whoever remembers that they knew this man will feel sorry for the dead youth and also for that dark, red-hot woman who cries for him…Even she is young…”

sprovod“No, brother workers! Our struggle will be as peaceful as our conscience. And whoever interferes with our conscience, let them quickly realise, that our conscience is the conscience of millions.” There then erupts shouting and clapping amidst the raised arms, which were flailing around in the smoky light. Arsen, agitated, not being able to handle the feelings of fear and elation that were unconsciously gushing out of him, seizes upon the impression of those arms. To him they seemed blackened and scraggy, bristling like the fingers of a huge beast that would lacerate the world and blow apart existence. The same man continued, raising his voice, as though the past of a destitute old drunkard was emanating from his mouth.
At that moment the police broke down the door with bare sabres and called upon them to “disperse in the name of the law.” Arsen didn’t hear what happened next. Several chairs were knocked over, some glasses were smashed and the restaurant began to empty. Inside a sabre still flashed around as did several bare heads that couldn’t reach the door immediately. Arsen felt a sharp blow to his back, and then the thrust of pale people trembling from anger and fear pushed him outside. Only then did Arsen see two guards striking a woman with their sabres on the other side of the street and shouting something unclear he moved closer. But they immediately left her, because at the other door the guards were still scuffling with the crowd, which was resisting with sticks and offensive shouting.

policesabresprincipTranslated from the original Croatian novel ‘Isušena kaljuža’ written by Janko Polić Kamov (as yet not translated or published in English) by Martin Mayhew

Sva prava pridržana / All rights reserved


U potrazi sam za sponzorstvom ili drugim oblikom financijske potpore kao i prikladnog izdavača (za tisak knjige ili e-book verzije) kako bih završio svoj prijevod svih djela Janka Polića Kamova. Na prijevodu sam njegovih djela s hrvatskog na engleski jezik radim od 2012. godine. Tijekom tog procesa stvaram jedinstveni rječnik fraza i arhaičnih riječi koje Kamov koristi u svojim djelima, kao odraz i osobnog autorskog stila ali i vremena u kojem je pisao. Taj bi se rječnik mogao koristiti od strane budućih prevoditelja zainteresiranih za ovo značajno razdoblje hrvatske književnosti.
Molim vas, kontaktirajte me ako ste zainteresirani.


I am looking for sponsorship or funding and a suitable publisher (printed or online) in order to complete my translations of all of Kamov’s work. I have been working on translating his works into English since 2012. During this process I am compiling a unique glossary which could be used by future translators interested in this important period of Croatian literature.
You can read more about my work here: interview
Please contact me if you are interested.

More Kamov…

Get more Kamov in English quotes on Twitter

Rijeka’s Shipping Industry in the 20th Century exhibition

online-exhibitionA new exhibition describing the shipping industry in the city of Rijeka in the 20th century has opened at PPMHP Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka (the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka). I translated the exhibition’s content, website and promotional material into English.

“It all began with the Hrvat. A little steamship built for Senjsko Brodarsko Društvo (the Senj Shipping Society), which linked Rijeka and Senj, and a revolution in the thoughts of Rijeka’s ship owners and the attitude towards the steamship industry began…..”

…. are the opening words by the exhibition’s author, senior curator, Nikša Mendeš which lead the visitor through the story of Rijeka’s shipping industry over 100+ years of the highs and lows of its existence. Through the varying governing powers and through two world wars. The port was once a leading mover in European ship transportation stretching around the world with its shipping companies such as Jadranska Plovidba, Jugoslavenska Oceanska Plovidba Sušak and later Jugolinija and Croatia Line.


The Jugolinija company’s ship ‘Kornat’ in Venice. One of the many vessels detailed in the exhibition.

The exhibition features models of the ships, ships’ logs, diaries of sailors, large format photographs, drawings, paintings and all manner of documents and equipment associated with Rijeka’s shipping industry.

All kinds of drawings, models and photographs enhance the exhibition.

All kinds of drawings, models and photographs enhance the exhibition.

exhibition-opening3Also interesting is the fact that the museum’s holding of memorabilia, documents, photography etc. has now been digitalised meaning that you can also virtually visit this exhibition via the museum’s website here.

The exhibition is on show in the museum in the Governor’s Palace in Rijeka until December 2014. More info on the museum’s website here.

Interested in diving the wrecks of the Adriatic Sea? Click here.

IKON – Journal of Iconographic Studies – no.7 proofreading

Ikon Journal no.7The latest edition – volume 7 of IKON – the annual journal of iconographic studies (ISSN 1846-8551) published by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka in June 2014. This is a high quality, beautifully illustrated, 340 page, publication examining the religious iconography of paintings, murals and ecclesiastical art history.

It was my pleasure to work with the editor, Marina Vicelja-Matijašić in the proofreading of the English translations in this issue which is entitled ‘Iconology at the Crossroads’.

Green & Blue magazine translation

Zeleno i plavo‘ (‘green and blue’) is a regularly published magazine issued in Croatian by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County that highlights the attractions, traditions and local life of the county which has become internationally known as Croatia’s ‘green-blue’ county. This title derives from the fact that it covers an area of a myriad of landscapes and scenery from the crystal clear blueness of the northern Adriatic Sea to the deep greens of the highland forests of the inland Gorski Kotar region.
Every couple of years an international version is published in English which gathers together the choicest bits from the previous Croatian language editions – under the title of ‘Green & Blue’.

green and blue 2014

‘Green & Blue’ 2014 English edition

I was honoured to have been able to translate the Croatian text into English for the County where I live – Rijeka being the main city.pgzlogo ‘Green & Blue’ number 3 is 80 pages full of informative, interesting, entertaining articles about the life of the people of the County, their work, skills, hobbies as well as the industries, tourism, sports and more – not forgetting of course the beautiful countryside which Primorje-Gorski Kotar County is famous for.

green and blue 2014 magazineThe outstanding photography, enlightening text and detailed information about the County make this an essential insight into the life and work of the people and their interaction with nature, and it provides a valuable glimpse for tourists, visitors and potential business partners coming to the region.

Editor: Ermina Duraj
Editor in chief: Dragan Ogurlić
English translation: Martin Mayhew
Graphic design: Ivica Oreb
Marketing and production: Makol Marketing, Rijeka
Printed by: Kerchoffest, Zagreb


Centenary of Rijeka’s Stadium

2013 saw the 100th anniversary of Rijeka’s sports stadium and to celebrate this the publishing house Adamić, in conjunction with Grad Rijeka’s council, published a commemorative book ‘100 Godina Stadiona Kantrida’.

100 godina stadiona kantrida

“100 Years of the Kantrida Stadium, Rijeka”

“In the hundred year period on the battlefield of Rijeka’s sporting temple, sporting as well as political interests have been intertwined. Through the transformations of the former quarry the social and cultural development of the city of Rijeka can be traced.”

The book is illustrated with many photographs and diagrams detailing the history of the site, the uses it has served over the decades right up today’s home of the Rijeka’s football team and the recent plans for its transformation into one of the regions newest and most exciting stadiums.

The authors are: Marinko Lazzarich, Ivo Paškvan, Ferruccio Burburan and Zlatko Moranjak

I am proud to have translated the summary into English.

You can order the book from the publisher Adamić here:

Rijeka’s football team supporters – Armada, are big fans of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ (‘Mućke’)